University of Limerick
Fitzgerald_1997_case.pdf (86.18 kB)

Case study of user participation in the information systems development process

Download (86.18 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2013-08-15, 15:27 authored by Tom Butler, Brian FitzgeraldBrian Fitzgerald
There are many in the information systems discipline who believe that user participation is necessary for successful systems development. However, it has been suggested that this belief is neither grounded in theory nor substantiated by research data. This may indicate that researchers have not addressed fully the underlying complexity of the concept. If so, this is indicative of a deficiency in understanding user participation in information systems development as it occurs in organizations. In order to enhance the extant understanding of participative information systems development, the present study adopts a qualitative, case-based approach to research so as to provide an in-depth description of the complex social nature of the phenomenon as manifested in one organization. The results of the study illustrate that a high degree of direct and indirect user participation did not guarantee the successful implementation and use of information systems in the organization studied. Such participatory development practices did, however, result in the development of systems that adequately captured user requirements and hence satisfied user informational needs. It was clear that despite the perceived negative impact, which the new systems would have on user work-related roles and activities, the existence of an organization-wide participative policy, and associated participative structures, coupled with a favorable organization culture, generated a participatory development climate that was conducive to the successful development of information systems, while not guaranteeing it. That said, the central conclusion of this study was that user dissatisfaction with developed systems centered on the poor management of change in the organization.



Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference on Information Systems, (ICIS1997);pp. 411-426


Association for Computing Machinery




"© ACM, 1997. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ICIS '97 Proceedings of the eighteenth international conference on Information systems, pp. 411-426,



Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager